The Devil, Probably | Basma Alsharif | C’est Vrai | Look at This | Towheads


BASILICA SCREENINGS is a film series that presents an array of works from new and repertory narrative features, documentaries, experimental films, to video and media art, as well as guest curated programs, often with filmmakers and special guests in attendance for a discussion following the screenings. Programmed by Basilica Hudson’s film curator Aily Nash, and creative directors Melissa Auf der Maur and Tony Stone.

All films begin at 8 pm and are $5-10 sliding scale, unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, June 6
THE DEVIL, PROBABLY, Robert Bresson, 1977, 93 min.

Friday, June 14

Thursday, June 20
C’EST VRAI, Robert Frank, 1990, 60 min.
LOOK AT THIS, Aaron Graham, 2010-2012, 16 min.

Friday, June 28
TOWHEADS, Shannon Plumb, 2013, 86 min


Robert Bresson, 1977, 93 min

Constructed as a flashback from news reports of a young man’s suspicious suicide, Robert Bresson’s splenetic 1977 drama puts the post-1968 world on trial and judges it unlivable. Charles (Antoine Monnier), a quietly imperious sensualist of blazing intelligence, lives idly in a bare garret and does little but brazenly chase women. Essaying the gamut of modern pursuits — politics, religion, education, drugs, psychoanalysis — he finds them all pointless, and his despair is deepened by atrocious documentary footage of dire pollution that he watches at the home of the writer and environmentalist Michel (Henri de Maublanc), whose girlfriend he steals. –Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Thirty-five years on, The Devil, Probably can still trigger a shock of recognition: Charles’s world is ours. “There won’t be any revolution—it’s too late,” someone says, succinctly articulating a generational tragedy that became a fact of life. But the scope of the film is larger even than the malaise and anger of the post-’68 universe. Beneath the desultory despair, it expresses something timeless about the power and the powerlessness of youth, its coiled energy and its raw-nerved capacity for sensation even when shrouded in an apathetic fog. –Dennis Lim, Artforum

Courtesy of Film Desk and Olive Films.


They Accepted the Pleasures of Morning:
screening by Basma Alsharif

Basma Alsharif in person! Q&A with Alsharif following the screening. 

This selection of works is about imagining Palestine beyond its conflict. Wavering between a troubled past and an unpredictable future, each piece examines subjective experience in relation to political history and collective memory from a different vantage point, a different country, and through different formal visual strategies. They Accepted the Pleasures of Morning, a line borrowed from Lord of the Flies that appears in Home Movies Gaza, refers to an environment where survival is at the forefront of the everyday and creates a space to question the function of civilization there and elsewhere, drawn from a territory where it has clearly failed. –Basma Alsharif

Using text and language to weave through narratives that involve unseen and anonymous individuals who are positioned against the backdrop of long political histories and shifting collective memory, Basma Alsharif (Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents) has developed her practice nomadically since receiving an MFA in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Living and working between Cairo, Beirut, Sharjah, Amman, Gaza and most recently Paris, Basma’s work operates between cinema and installation. Her works have shown in solo exhibitions, biennials and festivals internationally.

robert frank

Robert Frank’s C’EST VRAI (1990) and Aaron Graham’s LOOK AT THIS (2010-2012)
curated by Maxwell Paparella

Aaron Graham in person! Q&A with Graham following the screening.

C’EST VRAI, Robert Frank, 1990, 60 min
C’est vrai is Robert Frank’s hour-long, single shot, semi-scripted/semi-verité exploration of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Primarily known for his still photography, Frank treats the moving image as a probing vehicle through which powerful, singular images are discovered. From amidst the analog video texture of his wandering camera, an iconic composition will materialize and then vanish as Frank and his gang move towards their next rendezvous.

aaron grahamLOOK AT THIS, Aaron Graham, 2010-2012, 16 min
Aaron Graham’s Look At This videos also take the streets of Manhattan as their subject matter, but concern themselves more so with objects than with people, a reminder of the changes to the physical and cultural landscape of Manhattan in the 20 year interim between his and Frank’s projects.
–Maxwell Paparella


Shannon Plumb, 2013, 86 min

Shannon Plumb in person! Q&A with Plumb following the screening.

Towheads is a modern-day tale of motherhood as told through the eyes of a Brooklyn mom with two towheaded blond boys. The film explores what it means to be a mother in current times, caught between her responsibility to her children (magnified by an oft-absent husband) and her need to fulfill her artistic aspirations. The story playfully probes the age-old gender roles ascribed to women and mothers and depicts the modern family unit in all its function and dysfunction. At once lighthearted, incisive and critically challenging, it portrays the mundanity of everyday life by drawing on slapstick humor and silent film’s pantomimic tradition while at the same time handling the issues at home with appropriate severity. –Shannon Plumb